When it comes to growing your business, it can sometimes feel like nothing is working and that you’re constantly in a state of flux trying to see what will work for your business.
Whenever you find yourself in a period of uncertainty, it’s good to take a step back and see what’s been working and how you can repeat your successes. In order to find what’s working, however, you need to be constantly testing in small batches, which allows you to gain invaluable insights in a cost-effective and speedy manner.
With that being said, here’s a few tactics you can immediately put to use:
1. Offer Gated Content As A Value-Add
Even if you consistently produce and promote amazing content, you need to figure out a way to capture all that traffic you’re generating.
One of the best ways to convince readers your content is valuable enough to “pay for” with their contact information is to offer a value-add.
Noah Kagan employs this strategy perfectly on OKDork where he (and his guest contributors) often create detailed, insightful posts, and then add in a guide, cheat sheet, checklist or template that you can download for an email opt-in.
Jay Baer at Convince&Convert does this extremely well, using HelloBar to promote upcoming webinars, his best-selling book Youtility, as well as his “One Thing Email” newsletter.
Jay’s banner is well-designed and his blog backs up his CTAs with engaging, informative content that actually helps his readers.
2. Run A Targeted Giveaway
Marketers love running giveaways because they’re cheap forms of promotion that can galvanize a base of people relatively quickly. However, the main problem that arises is you often receive interest solely due to the prize you’re giving away, rendering most of your entries as unqualified.
Although giveaways tend to be difficult to control, you can in fact create a highly-targeted campaign that will only resonate with the kind of people you can help through your products or services.
For example, the best-selling author Ryan Holiday ran a book giveaway based on his October reading list, in which anyone could enter in exchange for a subscription to his newsletter on books — now that’s a pretty targeted giveaway. Ryan can assume that people who enter this giveaway are interested in reading and interested in reading the kind of books that he recommends.
3. Sponsor Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing and endorsing recognizable personalities, athletes and the like has been around long before any of us were around, but now that we all have the means to become publishers and build our own audiences, it’s much more feasible to connect with influencers who have a strong following within your niche.
As for how you sponsor an influencer, that varies quite a bit. For instance, you can look into niche marketplaces such as:
- Famebit (YouTube influencers)
- Midroll (podcast ad network)
- TapInfluence (Influencer content network)
- Sumpto (College influencers)
Alternatively, you can go straight to the source by getting in contact with hand-selected micro-influencers to pitch your proposal and negotiate a mutually beneficial deal. Typically, it works best when you’re a legitimate supporter of the person you’re looking to sponsor, as it shows them that you’ve taken the time to identify them as a potential partner, rather than a walking billboard.
4. Promote Customer Testimonials On Social Media
By now, we’re all probably pretty familiar with the fact that the most coveted form of marketing comes from word-of-mouth. We all want customers and fans promoting us because they are enthralled with the experience that we deliver. So, when this does happen, why not amplify it and leverage it as an opportunity?
For example, RelateIQ noticed that one of their customers (Danielle Morrill, who also happens to be an influencer in the tech community) tweeted her appreciation of the service and RelateIQ cleverly responded by promoting her tweet for added social proof.
RelateIQ wasn’t looking to turn Danielle’s comment into a direct lead gen opportunity, but they knew that if an influencer and customer shows her appreciation about the product without any incentive, there’s real value in that. It may not be as measurable as a Twitter Lead Gen card, but it certainly arouses curiosity and backs it up with social proof.
5. Interview & Highlight Your Customers
All marketers struggle with working within their budget while providing useful content to their audience that entertains or informs, but that can also help move prospects down the pipeline. One way to do this is by interviewing your current customers, highlighting their business and successes as well as how your product or service has helped them.
Harvest, the time-tracking software company, does an excellent job at interviewing their customers, which allows them to show their appreciation to customers by featuring their business while generating useful content in a scalable fashion.
6. Leverage WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG, or what you see is what you get, is becoming an increasingly attractive option for both brands and consumers as online shopping and transparency is increasing. Essentially, digital companies are taking advantage of what retailers have been doing for years — getting products in the hands of prospective customers without an upfront commitment.
Optimizely, for example, converted their homepage entirely to reflect their product. All you need to do is enter in your URL, or any URL for that matter, to test their product in real time.
KISSMetrics also does this very well by allowing visitors to log in with Google to test their product.
While setting and sticking to long-term marketing initiatives is absolutely critical, sometimes it can feel like you’re just spinning your wheels. Rather than only going by the plan, take some time each week to try a different tactic that can be tested quickly and cheaply. The results may surprise you quite a bit, as we’ve had some of our biggest breakthroughs during these kind of experiments.
What other marketing tactics have worked for you?